Friday, December 01, 2023

The Vision (12.1.23): Noah was a just man


Note: Devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on Genesis 6:9-22.

These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9).

In Genesis 6:9 there are three descriptions of Noah, the man who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8):

First, “Noah was a just (or righteous) man.”

He was a godly man in an ungodly generation. This will be a hallmark description of Noah. Twice in the book of the prophet Ezekiel Noah is listed alongside Daniel and Job as men outstanding for their righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14, 20).

Paul, in the great faith chapter of Hebrews 11 will write, “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (v. 7).

How indeed is one made righteous or justified in God’s sight? It is by faith. As the apostle Paul will put it in Romans 5:1, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

It will later be said of Abraham that he believed in the LORD and it was counted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). And yet even before Abraham there was Noah. Not only is he described in Scripture as being a just man, but he is also described by Peter as “a preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).

Second, Noah was “perfect in his generations.” This did not mean morally perfect or sinless, because all mankind after Adam born by ordinary generation has inherited a sin nature from him and committed actual transgressions. The KJV offers an alternative translation for the word “perfect” as “upright.” What this tells us is that though Noah had remaining corruption within, he was yet the most upright man of his generation.

Third, “Noah walked with God." This recalls the description of godly Enoch (Genesis 5:24). Noah enjoyed a level of deep communion and fellowship with his Creator. He was a spiritually minded man, a man who was not a spiritual hypocrite, but one who intimately knew the LORD.

It was this man whom the LORD set apart to build the ark, to save a remnant, to accomplish a life-preserving mission, “to keep them alive” (Genesis 6:20).

Noah was the greatest man of his day, but he was still a fallen man.

In the fullness of time, there came one greater than Noah, the Lord Jesus Christ. When he died on the cross Luke tells us there was a centurion there who when he “saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47).

The apostle Paul said God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us so that “we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The apostle Peter said that he “once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).

This one who is greater than Noah has raised up an ark in our day that saves men  not only from temporary destruction but from eternal destruction, and you enter into this ark, which is Christ himself, only by faith in him.

So, let us believe, and let us be saved.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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